Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol cadets in Air Force-style ser...Image via Wikipedia

TO: Major J, Civil Air Patrol, Cadet Squad
Diver is looking forward to his first CAP meeting this evening and we look forward to meeting you.  After discussing it with Diver, we wanted to let you know that Diver has some extra challenges. He handles them well, and often they are not apparent. Still, if he had a peanut allergy or diabetes or a hearing loss, we would inform you about that. Diver's challenge is Asperger's Syndrome, a developmental disability which poses some sensory, social and communication challenges. He has learned to compensate; sometimes he'll ask for a moment to think something over; or he'll take break; or he'll ask that something be explained a second time. He's quite bright and creative and we think that he and CAP will be a great fit. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
Cordially, Anonymom

TO: Anonymom,
We look forward to meeting you and your family. Diver is most welcome to check things out and if interested we have no problems with him joining up. We see everyone as equal and our officers are patient with everyone. If he is eager to learn and share his interest with us he will acquire a whole new batch of friends. See you tonight!  Maj. J

After considering whether to disclose Diver's ASD to the adult leader of his new CAP Cadet unit, we took a conservative approach. We disclosed the nature of his challenges but steered clear of a label that might disqualify him. The Major's response was heartening, and we set off for the military base with great excitement (Diver) and anxiety (Anonymom).

Soldiers at the gate! MIlitary aircraft! Jeeps! Tanks! Officers in uniform! The meeting started with a call to attention and Diver was in heaven. They drilled, marched, had aerospace training. Diver was praised for his military knowledge and enthusiasm, and was practically guaranteed a place at the service academy of his choice.  From their mouths to God's ears.

They tried to get me to enlist, too, but I'm already in CAP. Concerned Auti-Parents.

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  1. Yay! This is awesome. I have so been there -- wondering how much to disclose and to who. On one hand, its not like that won't figure out SOMETHING is up, on the other hand, will they treat him fairly once you say something?

    Good for you and good for Diver, keep us posted on how CAP goes, I think Movie Boy might like a program like that.

  2. That sounds great. I am a big proponent of disclosure, and you did a wonderful job in the way you presented it. Give Diver a salute from me!

  3. From one "CAP" to another - great job! You handled that perfectly. So glad that Diver enjoyed himself!

  4. Yes, that was perfect. I may need to borrow your form someday. And I loved MAJ J's response. Go Diver!! You should be very proud!